Early 2022, I pledged to be sharing my journey as a start-up especially now that I am still bootstrapping. I have to share the little outsets so that when we someday become successful, people can be able to look back and see our track records.
There are times it seems as though people pop out from nowhere and become successful, it is not true. The “emergency” successes we witness are the result of many efforts. Let me also say this, there is still no assurance that you will thrive regardless of the exertions you’ve put into something.
Don’t get me wrong but there is no extenuating. While you remain hopeful, put in your best, and do all that you can, never think you will ultimately hit your jackpot just because you had a nice idea and invested a lot of money and time in that idea.
Before it begins to get boring, let me highlight a few big companies that had the money and can fund anything they want to fund, yet, their projects failed and they abandoned it.
Google has a long list of failed projects including Google video. Google video was built to compete with YouTube but guess what? As robust as Google was, people couldn’t adopt Google Video. Google video survived between 2005–2009 and died. Google eventually bought YouTube later.
Another funny failure from Google was Google X which lasted for only a day! It was supposed to be a platform that allows users to search for stuff using categories, images, and so on. March 16, 2005, was its beginning and its ending.
Elon Musk was a loser at the beginning. Emerging tech companies all turned his applications down including the now non-existent Netscape. He would later find Zip2, a business directory. Zip2 was a revolutionary business but it still didn’t pull through. When Zip2 eventually started gaining ground, Elon Musk was ousted as the CEO and demoted.
Looking back, these things are not what funds Elon Musk’s vision today. He is the richest man in the world, thanks to Tesla!
I could go on and on but let me stop here. My point is simple, just because you have a nice idea doesn’t mean you will succeed but the steps are building you and the experiences you have will be relevant in other projects. Does this mean that I am planning to fail? No, never! But I just want to shape your perspective, to realize that success is beyond just having a good idea, plan, or influence.
By October, I pre-launched FunIQ Skills Academy. The idea was just to build a small platform where I can be having my online classes. People would register on the website while I add them to a Telegram group and begin to engage them. But on second thought, I decided to take the big step, to build what you know today as FunIQ Skill Academy. However, the initial plan wasn’t to go mainstream.
When I got the Learning Management System on FunIQ sorted out, it was difficult to decide on where to host the videos. Videos are the core and heart of online learning platforms, without videos, you are better off buying books and reading yourself. Because of a lack of funds, I decided to use Daily Motion to host the videos. It was all going well till one day, all the videos started showing obstructive ads. It was so bad that it started affecting the user experience. I reached out to Daily Motion and they explained they’ve changed some rules and that all videos on Daily Motion must be showing ads.
I had to quickly make a decision. I moved to a paid video hosting provider. It was a huge decision but I had to make it. It was going to cost me something but it was worth it. The next thing was to rebuild the Learning Management System from the ground to the bottom which has been rolled out.
As we keep improving on the features of FunIQ Skills Academy and onboarding students, we keep seeing the need to upgrade and go for better digital infrastructure. In January, we had to move to a new server to accommodate certain activities and running of various scripts but today, we have also seen the need to move to a better-dedicated cloud hosting solution where scalability will be easy and we are already in that migration process.
In the coming days, we expect better uptime, fast experience, and hitch-free learning. Of course, it requires more money, more resources, more experience, more workforce and I am looking at the best way to engage a few persons who could work as co-founders.
I am not in a hurry though to get it all figured out in one day but I will be taking it one gradual step at a time. While I have the list of big companies that failed in certain projects, I am not building FunIQ Skills Academy to have it fail, I am building it to be a success.
Here are things I have learned from experience between these five months.
- Before you start building anything, count the cost.
- After counting the cost, don’t assume you are correct. Be ready for surprises.
- Don’t underestimate your ideas.
- When you start building anything, it is better to start with something scalable, something that can accommodate your plans.
- Collaboration is the easy way out.
- Start small but in a way that doesn’t stifle your growth.
- Great ideas don’t mean you can’t fail but don’t build to fail.
I hope that some of these points will be helpful to you.